Pet Memorial Sunday is coming around again, this year on September 10. I have been a speaker at the Pet Memorial Sunday ceremony hosted by Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation since 2011, and once again I’m considering my remarks for this year.
I am the third speaker, near the end, after a veterinarian speaks about our last moments with our pets and a counselor and therapist speaks about the nature of grief, and after we’ve read our tributes and witnessed the dove release. The topic is bringing another animal companion into your life after a loss.
Cats come and go in my life as a rescuer. I’ve always said the universe brought to me the cats I needed and the cats who needed me, so I have never gone out with an intent to adopt a cat. But I do know the fear that I will betray the cat who’s left us with another cat coming in soon after, even a rescue, or that the lost one will be forgotten as time goes on.
The first year I spoke I chose to describe how I had endured so much loss, four of my oldest cats so close together after years of caregiving, and then a kitten, and the cats still with me were all teenagers and I saw them as imminent losses and was afraid I’d never trust my heart to love my cats again because it had all been so painful. Then I brought a certain cat and her kittens into my home and though I was expecting a disaster, in time I quit looking for signs of illness and impending death and loved them and all my cats just as freely as I ever had. Bringing new cats into my life was in that case what actually healed my grief, and a lot of my fears too, without fear of leaving one of the lost cats behind.
Of course, you know this story. Because this is the 10th anniversary of when it all happened I thought I’d share that first talk as a different perspective. Please read My Loss and Redemption: Loving Again After Loss. It’s hard to believe it’s from six years ago. You can find others in the category “Pet Memorial Sunday”, and I should probably gather these up in some manner so they can be read as a series.
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